Shockingly, Best Actor winner Will Smith has announced that he will withdraw his membership in the organization, getting ahead of the last few days of speculation that he would be kicked out as a consequence of his behavior at this year’s ceremony.
After Chris Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness, Smith stormed the stage and smacked his long-time buddy.
In a statement reported by Variety, Smith apologized for his actions and said they were “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.” Smith declared his readiness to accept whatever other penalties the Academy’s Board of Governors decides to impose.
“The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
– Will Smith
In a statement to The Academy, Smith admitted that his conduct was “out of line,” and he apologized personally to Rock several days ago. Smith had only been under the organization’s thumb for a few days when he made this apology.
Although his membership is no longer in danger of being revoked or suspended, there is still some debate as to whether the Academy should take back his Best Actor award. In its history, the Academy has expelled five members; none have been asked to return their Oscars. The Academy is now investigating the matter.
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